29 Sep 2021
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Plague of the Fallen - EP Review: Bleeding and Vehement

25 Apr 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland

It has been a long road for Plague of the Fallen who released their debut EP Unleash the Vermin some 10 years ago, but the intervening years have seen line-up changes and even a hiatus, but now they are back with a six-track 15-minute-long EP, Bleeding and Vehement. This is brutal death metal, making for a wonderful attack on the senses. Drummer Stuart Henley-Minchington is the foundation, and it is always refreshing to hear a drummer within this genre who understands the real need for dynamics, and while he is always hitting hard, there is a huge variety in what he is doing within every song, so we only get real blast beats when we need them, and the same with his touch on cymbals. Guitarists Sam McRobert and Matthew Bolch often lock in as one, taking the straightforward brutal approach, and then there is bassist/vocalist Vincent Minchington. His bass is normally locked either with or just behind the guitars, while his vocals are in the Corpsegrinder style, yet with clearer annunciation than many.

Opener Gestation is just that, a short introduction to the EP. This has become something that many extreme bands feel the need to do these days, but these guys have not gone for the orchestral approach which some feel is fitting, but rather work their way into the groove, building up in readiness for what is to come. The feedback from the guitars takes us into the title cut and we are off, at pace. This is relentless death metal, but with plenty of layers and tricks behind it. There is some Meshuggah-style heavy finesse, and it would not surprise me to hear that Cryptopsy are also an influence. There is a groove in what they are doing, real power without ever veering away from their core purpose, which is to provide metal that is always in your face. There is little in the way of solos, but when they do come through, they tend to be in keeping with the song as opposed to just technical trickery. One of the areas they are very good in as that if providing variety. If everything stays at the same speed and volume then it loses impact, but they allow space to creep in to emphasise tightness, lightness to provide a foil for the heavy, providing loads of dynamics which give the overall EP much more polish and finesse. Yet another great local heavy band to keep an eye on and I am very much looking forward to hearing a full album, and will definitely catch them at a gig when I can.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

Releases

Bleeding and Vehement
Year: 2021
Type: EP

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